Scores of organizations are migrating their websites to Drupal because of its flexibility, free licensing model, and large developer community. During the migration process, planning the architecture and implementation strategy for a custom Drupal website is vital. Oftentimes, organizations seek our help when the most optimal architectural approach wasn't taken during the migration process. TerraGo Technologies, a geospatial collaboration software provider, is one such organization.
TerraGo contacted one of our developers about a year ago after experiencing problems with the performance and functionality of their corporate website TerraGoTech.com. After TerraGo engaged Mediacurrent for Drupal Support, our development team identified two key issues:
- a lack of Drupal best-practice development created difficulty in deploying feature updates
- slow website performance during peak traffic periods
Being a technology company, TerraGo relies heavily on their website for real-time customer communications and software updates.
First, we identified areas in Drupal configuration and application files for best-practice enhancement. Using the Devel module, our team identified bottlenecks in overlapping function calls. Enabling the Coder module, we quickly found malformed custom Drupal module code and were able to repair it while addressing the issues the Devel module highlighted. Specifically, one high priority issue that needed immediate attention was TerraGo's Toolbar download. The TerraGo Toolbar is a free downloadable browser toolbar that's essential in marketing TerraGo's GeoPDF technology. The Toolbar download link was simply broken, not allowing users to download the Toolbar itself. In a matter of a couple of hours, one of our developers replaced the text hyperlink with a large "Download" button and added Google Analytics for tracking clicks on the "Download" button.
Next, after making Drupal application level enhancements, TerraGo's website performance was addressed. The first step in improving the website's performance was to move it off of a shared hosting environment. Our performance specialists ran TerraGoTech.com's feature set and site traffic numbers through our hardware analysis checklist to determine the best cost-effective hosting solution. The decision was made to move the site to a dedicated server network, helping decrease page load times and increase speed of database I/O. After migrating the website to its new host, we installed the Ganglia monitoring service for testing memory consumption and identified several services that could be turned off, thus increasing available server memory and further decreasing page load and processing times.
Moving forward, we continue to support TerraGoTech.com after a year of successfully integrating new features and assisting with module performance and maintenance. As TerraGo's business grows, we continue to help cultivate a web presence with new, compelling features and clear user experience.
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